The first hearing of the Greens’ led Senate inquiry into the nature and extent of poverty and cost of living pressures in Australia begins on Thursday in Melbourne.
The inquiry will hear from community organisations and those experiencing disadvantage with the first hearing focused particularly on housing.
On the first day of anti poverty week Greens spokesperson for social services, Senator Janet Rice, is calling for a raise of all income support.
Senator Rice said:
“The theme for anti-poverty week this year is halving child poverty by 2030.
“Poverty is a political choice and currently one in six kids are living in poverty in Australia. No parent should have to wonder how they’re going to pay the rent, feed their kids this week or afford new school shoes that their kids desperately need. Currently income support payments are up to $40 a day below the poverty line, and there are 300,000 female single parents relying solely on Centrelink as their source of income.
“Poverty is a political choice and the Labor Government is choosing tax cuts for the wealthy instead of making life easier for these families.
“The Greens are calling on Labor to raise the rate of all income support payments above the poverty line and provide people with a guaranteed liveable income.
“Everyone deserves the right to live in safety with a roof over their head, food in their cupboard, medical care and hot showers. Families are having to decide which of these they will have to sacrifice right now. The Labor Government can change this through a guaranteed liveable income.
Parliamentary poverty inquiry first hearing this Thursday 20th October
Senator Rice said:
“Poverty is impacting so many Australians and it is only getting worse. With skyrocketing rents, interest rate rises, and months of inflation, so many are struggling to get by. From not being able to afford nutritious food, an education, housing, the resources to get a job, this is having a significant impact on their physical health and mental wellbeing.
“This inquiry will hold wide-ranging hearings across the country. It’s about time we heard from the people who have been forced to rely on woefully inadequate payments to have their voices heard, and take that evidence into Parliament.
“There are over 120,000 people waiting for a safe, affordable home in Victoria. The first inquiry hearing this Thursday will give a voice to some of those people.”